Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Chocolate and Cherry Puffs

Servings: 8
A combination of cherries in pate choux pastry puffs, smothered in a chocolate sauce. Chopped strawberries or raspberries may be substituted for the cherries, if desired.

8 oz. (250g) ripe cherries, pitted
1/4 cup (60ml) brandy or kirsch (cherry liqueur)
2 oz. (60g) all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
2 oz. (50g) unsalted butter, diced
5 oz. (150ml) water and milk, in equal quantities
2 eggs, beaten
Whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream

To Serve:
A good quality ready-made chocolate sauce, warmed

Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C).

Soak the prepared cherries in brandy or kirsch for 2 or 3 hours.

Sift the flour with a pinch of salt. In a pan, heat the butter with the water and milk. When the butter has melted, bring the liquid to a boil, remove from the heat and quickly add the flour, beating with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball and leaves the sides of the pan. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Gradually beat in the eggs, a little at a time, until the dough is shiny and will fall from the spoon.

Place 8 individual tablespoonfuls of the mixture on a baking sheet, allowing a little room for spreading, and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven; pierce each one with a sharp knife, then return to the oven for a further 5 to 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Remove to a wire cooling rack.

Before serving, cut off the top third of each bun. Place some whipped cream or ice cream in the bottom portion and some cherries and juices on top. Cover with the tops and pour over a little warm chocolate sauce. Serve the remaining chocolate sauce in a bowl with spoon for guests to help themselves too.

Makes 8 servings.

Date: May 7, 2004